Decanter travel guide: Valpolicella, Verona, Italy

With its gracious villas and ancient churches, the valleys of Valpolicella harbour as much heritage as they do winemaking dynasties. Local Alessandra Piubello shows how to make the most of this inviting region in his Valpolicella travel guide.

Valpolicella: where to stay, eat, shop and relax

Hotels

La Magioca Relais

High-class, elegant and charming hotel with gardens and a swimming pool. This Liberty and Colonial style private residence converted into a luxury focuses on the well-being and comfort of its clients. An unforgettable romantic stay. magioca.it

Byblos Art, Villa Amista

An 18th-century Venetian villa with gardens, frescoes and ancient relics, combined with modern interiors and international art exhibits. An original contemporary art museum with designer bedrooms, spa and swimming pool. byblosarthotel.com

Castrum Relais Ristorante

Cleverly renovated, reasonably priced, 18th-century farmhouse with elegant rooms overlooking the Valpolicella valley. The management also runs the Osteria Castrum in an 18th century villa in the town’s beautiful square, where local wines are available for tasting. castrumrelais.it

Villa Gesi Relais

An ancient country residence renovated according to the dictates of bio-architecture, surrounded by spacious gardens, with beautiful rooms and antique furniture. Here you can also enjoy cioccolavini, original home-produced Amarone chocolates. villagesi.it

Restaurants

Authentic home cooking in a trattoria that dates back to 1907. After four generations the menu is still centred around local flavours, promoting tradition and wholesome products. The hand-made lasagnette should not be missed. Wide selection of local wines. trattoriacaprini.it

Dalla Rosa Alda

Dating back to 1853, the Dalla Rosa family has been handing down the secrets of traditional local cooking for generations. Enjoy simple yet authentic dishes from the organic vegetable garden, and healthy local produce. The wine cellar dug into the rock with its mainly Veronese selection is well worth a visit. dallarosalda.it

Groto de Corgnan

A reference point for classic Veronese dishes for over 30 years, the Soave family welcomes adventurers and makes them feel at home by serving typical dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients. The restaurant’s rustic style matches the tasty simplicity of the food. The lengthy wine list includes a good selection of local wines. grotodecorgnan.it

Ristorante Arquade

Located inside the Relais Chateaux Villa del Quar in an exclusive and architecturally unique environment surrounded by vineyards, the Arquade restaurant offers international cuisine with a creative imprint. Set among the vineyards, the luxury, class and perfect formal service of this restaurant make it a target for top gourmets. hotelvilladelquar.it/ristoranti-cantina/ristorante-arquade

Shops

I Sapori del Portico

A trip to Berardinelli’s delicatessen is a must, but don’t just look around the shop. Ask to be taken downstairs into the cheesematuring caves and tasting room where you can try unique cheeses and wonderful cold cuts produced according to ancient traditions and combined with innovative recipes. saporidelportico.com

Enoteca Al Mulino

A charming atmosphere where stone and wood merge in one spacious area with a separate room for wine tasting and a bar for sipping an aperitif. Wonderful selection of local labels and vintage wines with over 300 names to choose from. Via Santa Maria 44, Negrar; tel: +39 045 602 0800

La Bottega di Corrado Benedetti

The Benedetti family has been offering a wide choice of specialities made by master sausage- and cheese-makers since the 1950s. The choice includes meats, typical cold cuts, seasoned and refined cheeses, preserves, jams and pickles. Picnics are allowed in the company’s Bosco Allegro country gardens. corradobenedetti.it

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